Further reading on the Zimmerman verdict

There has been so much good, thoughtful writing about the verdict and the social systems that allowed it to happen. Here are a few of the best pieces I’ve come across:

The Zimmerman jury told young black men what we already knew.
It is a complicated thing to be young, black, and male in America. Not only are you well aware that many people are afraid of you—you can see them clutching their purses or stiffening in their subway seats when you sit across from them—you must also remain conscious of the fact that people expect you to be apologetic for their fear. It’s your job to be remorseful about the fact that your very nature makes them uncomfortable, like a pilot having to apologize to a fearful flyer for being in the sky.

White supremacy acquits George Zimmerman.
When Zimmerman was acquitted today, it wasn’t because he’s a so-called white Hispanic. He’s not. It’s because he abides by the logic of white supremacy, and was supported by a defense team—and a swath of society—that supports the lingering idea that some black men must occasionally be killed with impunity in order to keep society-at-large safe.

We are not Trayvon Martin: a Tumblr exploring race and privilege through people’s personal experiences. The creator of the blog explains here why he started it:
So much of the coverage and trial has been about race, Trayvon’s race, and what that meant for him. But all to often those of us who get the benefits of racism can’t see. We can’t see it because the world just appears normal. Living a “normal” life means i don’t have to think about race.
But race shapes my world as much as it shapes Trayvon’s, and it is my responsibility to see that and change that. 

Continue reading

A moment of silence

For Trayvon.

For his parents, who are grieving and have no justice.

For Rachel Jeantel, who said Trayvon was one of the few guys who didn’t make fun of her.

For Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing warning shots against her abusive husband–and for being a black woman–while George Zimmerman walks free.

For everyone who wasn’t surprised by the verdict, because they’d already been told so many times that their lives were worth nothing.

For the mamas who are afraid to let their sons walk to the corner store for candy and iced tea.

For a “justice” system that was never built to protect anyone but rich, het, cis white men.

For a country that allows this to happen, again and again.

For all the rage and heartsickness and the searing, bone-deep need for change.